Since I last looked at the Senate races 11 days ago, the picture of the home stretch has started to come a little more clearly into focus, albeit with a frustratingly large number of undecided voters still showing up in the polls even in states that have already begun early voting. The high number of undecideds is one of several reasons to question the reliability of this year’s polls, although the most likely reason for a surplus of undecideds is that some of those folks are just going to end up staying home – a result that would be good news for GOP candidates who have pulled out to a polling lead (as in Colorado, Iowa and Kentucky) but not so good for candidates in North Carolina and New Hampshire who are crouched in striking distance but still need to be persuading people. However, if you look at the broader trends in the presidential approval and generic ballot polling, you can see that things are again looking up for Republicans – if they can only capitalize on those opportunities.
I’ll return to the Governors’ races separately soon.
I’ve italicized West Virginia, Mississippi and Oregon because there’s no new polling since my last post. I’m also now including Sean Haugh, the Libertarian Party candidate in North Carolina, since RCP now carries a 3-way average and he’s consistently polling around 5% (although history suggests he will likely end up below that).
You’ve probably seen a lot of hue and cry about South Dakota, and the average here – as with Georgia – is a little misleading because the two most recent polls show a tighter race. But unless (as has happened before in this part of the country) the polls are really off, it’s hard to see Rick Weiland having a realistic path to victory, especially because the opportunity to catch Mike Rounds napping has already been lost, and resources are pouring in to shore him up. That said, we probably need another couple of polls to get a fix on whether things are really shifting in South Dakota.
In Kansas, I stand by the view that, if Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Pat RobertsSenate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard93% pulls ahead of Orman, he’ll be ahead to …read more